Dear Mommy,

Happy Mother’s Day. I wonder if you thought of me as I thought of you. It’s okay if you didn’t, I just get curious about those sorts of things every once in a while. I can’t imagine how hard this day is for you. I wonder if it reminds you of the tragedy of your mom’s suicide or of not knowing me. I’m sending you lots of love if this is hard day for you. I’m sending you lots of love even if it isn’t.

I have decided that in order to let you go I have to let you in. I’m sorry if that doesn’t make sense but it’s the best I can do to explain it. I know very little of you; only what my father and grandparents have shared, which is decidedly, though never cruelly, negative. I know there are many sides to a story and I don’t need you to justify yourself unless it would help you somehow.

I have gathered from the little information I have that you struggled with intense mood swings. I don’t know if you identify as having mental illness but it’s something that I have struggled with since childhood. I know how hard it is to battle those demons and if that is part of why you decided to leave I want you to know that I understand. I haven’t always treated people the way they deserve to be treated either. This doesn’t mean I’m not sad only that I understand how hard it can be to take care of yourself much less another human being. If you felt like you couldn’t look after me then you made the right choice for both of us.

I hope this doesn’t sound cruel but I don’t think about you that often. But though I’m not consciously aware of you I also realize that you’re a part of me. You left with a yawning void that I have never learned to fill consistently. But you also left me with a big warm heart that, when it’s not feeling sick, has an abundance of love to give and receive. You left me with a predisposition for mental illness, but that also helped create in me a resiliency that people who do not struggle with it could never know. You left me so alone, but in the solitude I learned how to use my imagination to bring the world to life.

Mommy, I don’t know you but I want you to know that I love you. Please help me hold you in my heart so that I can finally let go of you and of this emptiness.

Love,

Your Son

you sit across a table from me, lovely freckles and long red hair resting calmly over your cozy sweater we glance at one another and look away where do we direct our gazes? we acknowledged the awkwardness of meeting this way soulful conversations similarities between irish and mexican cultures the loneliness of missing ireland mutual depressions our fear that others will run the moment they realize we are depressives the way music and our careers save us from death the restaurant is getting louder the insipid artificial beats are bullets to the soul i can feel your introverted exhaustion just as i’m feeling my own i ask you over-stimulation for both of us let’s end with a long walk a mile in i can feel you pulling inward and you explain that you need to go inside yourself and listen to music i smile and tell you to continue the walk without me i understand i want to run into myself as well it’s tiring to be in loud places it’s exhausting to meet somebody new even if you enjoy them i can feel your soulful fragility I’m touched that you want to run away your belly is full of connection and you need to let it settle you call me adorable and hug me on your tip toes i call you lovely as you put your number into my phone and we agree to see one another again i hope i do but if not i thank you for showing me how that how beautiful a soulful fragile freak can be it gives me hope that i am as well